AIRAVATA, Airavata Elephant Story, Airavata vehicle of indra dev

AIRAVATAAn elephant; the vehicle of Indra
Airavata was the celestial elephant-king and the vehicle of Indra. Airavata was popularly known as the white elephant with wings. He was a descendant of the lineage of the sage KasHyapa. Airavata came from a maternal line (Kashyap’s wife Krodhavasa, their daughter Bhadramata, her daughter Iravati, and then Airavata). Such parentage would certainly explain how it was possible for Airavata to be born as king of the elephants. In mythic time gods might simply change into an animal species with their spouses and have children of that species, or they might spend a rebirth in an animal species. So the storyteller does not have to say just how the descendant of a sage became an elephant.
Another version of the birth of Airavata stated that he was born or appeared out of the Churning of the Milky Ocean (Vishnu Purana, chap. 22). But in this account he had four tusks. Another Purana, upon noticing the discrepancy, added a new dimension—the story of an Airavata with four tusks was about the sixth cycle of creations (manvantaras), but this was the seventh. Each cycle had its own Indra, with his elephant who was again named Airavata.
Airavata was used in another context as one of the eight elephants who guarded the eight zones of the universe (ashta-dikpalakas). Airavata protected the eastern zone.

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